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Rural primary schools hit as 73 posts to go

March 26, 2012

UP TO 73 small primary schools will lose a teacher in September because of changes in teacher allocations.

The full list of schools threatened with the loss of a teacher is revealed by the Irish Independent today.

They will only avoid the loss if their pupil numbers have risen since the last count in September — a major challenge for many because of their location.

With the exception of one in Clondalkin, Dublin, all the schools are in rural areas, mainly in the west. Last year’s Budget change to teacher allocation has sparked a major protest campaign amid fears that ultimately schools will close — to the detriment of local communities.

The Department of Education has told the 73 schools that, based on the last official pupil count, they will lose a teacher next September.

In recent weeks, schools were advised of their September 2012 allocations based on their September 2011 figures.

But there is an appeals process and — in a bid to soften the blow — Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has said that if schools succeed in enrolling higher numbers than in September 2011 the new figure will be included in the calculations.

This has pushed schools into a major competitive drive for new enrolments.

The cuts will continue for three years, starting in September, and will put the schools under ongoing pressure to keep increasing numbers.

Under the department’s plan, a school which this year got a third teacher for 49 pupils or above will need 51 pupils in September to secure the third teacher and 56 in three years’ time.

It also means a school which this year has a fourth teacher for 81 pupils will need 83 next year and 86 in two years’ time to retain that number of staff.

The aim is to cut 250 teaching posts in all. However, the staff will be redeployed to fill vacancies elsewhere.

The cuts have sparked a huge outcry in rural Ireland.

Over the weekend, parents, teachers and community activists held a rally in Loughrea, Co Galway and handed a petition in to Junior Education Minister Ciaran Cannon.
Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) president Noreen Flynn told the protest that what was needed was a coherent, long-term and resourced strategy for sustainable schools into the future.

“Instead, what we have are budget proposals aimed at forcibly amalgamating some small schools by cutting teachers”, she said.
Ms Flynn said the department should wait for the outcomes of a value-for-money report it was undertaking.

There was a need to review the benefits of small schools in rural communities.

INTO says alternatives to school closure and amalgamations should be considered, such as examining the possibility of repopulating existing schools rather than constantly expanding larger schools in urban areas, often with unsuitable temporary accommodation.


The union said schools of minority denominations, island schools and Irish medium schools must be treated with particular sensitivity.

Separately, 16 disadvantaged rural primary schools are losing a teacher arising from the Budget decision to withdraw what are known as “legacy” posts. These were awarded under a programme which predated the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) programme in 2005.


Seachtain na Gaeilge 2012 album available free of charge with Foinse

March 26, 2012

Foinse is delighted to announce that RÍ-RÁ LE HECTOR, the official Seachtain na Gaeilge 2012 album, will be available free of charge with Foinse and the Irish Independent this Wednesday (28thMarch). Some of the country’s top artists have recorded songs in Irish for this special album; BellX1, The Coronas, The Kanyu Tree, Delorentos, The Walls and The Riptide Movement, to mention but a few. Foinse columnist, Hector Ó hEochagáin recently launched the CD on his radio show, 2fm’s Breakfast with Hector.

“I promise you, that RÍ-RÁ LE HECTOR is one of the best albums you will hear this year,” he said.  “Get it, play it agus have it beside your stereo for the year. Ireland is our country and Irish is our language. Be proud!” The CD will be available free of charge with copies of Foinse and the Irish Independent purchased in SuperValu and Centra stores around the country.  For those who are interested in learning the words of the songs on the RÍ-RÁ LE HECTOR album, the lyrics will be posted on Foinse’s website, www.foinse.ie.

Foinse is free with the Irish Independent every Wednesday. For more information send an email to nuacht@foinse.ie or call 091 – 593775 .

D’éirigh Thar Barr le Comhdháil Chomhairle na Gaelscolaíochta 2012

March 26, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Nolan arranges talks on need for much-needed Knocknacarra school

March 22, 2012

The Department of Education will hold a meeting with Galway city primary school principals regarding the need for a new primary school in the Knocknacarra area.

The meeting has been arranged by Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan and a date will be set in the coming weeks.

The department has sanctioned funding for the provision of a new primary school on the west of the city citing the projected rise in the area’s population as the reason. The upcoming meeting will determine whether the data the department is using matches with what school principals are seeing on the ground.

“There is some concern that the school may not be necessary,” said Dep Nolan. “I hope the meeting will bring all the facts into the open and determine once and for all whether a new school is necessary.”

Dep Nolan said a number of schools around the city are in need of upgrading.

“With so many school building projects necessary in Galway,” he said, “it would make no sense to build a new school where existing schools are well placed to take on the extra numbers.”

Dep Nolan has also raised the exclusion of Gael Scoil Mhic Amhlaigh in Knocknacarra and Clifden Community School from the five-year school building programme with Education Minster Ruairi Quinn.

“I was very disappointed to see the exclusion of these projects,” he said. “I know these schools have been planning and preparing to start these projects for some time now and the works are badly needed.”

Dep Nolan has pledged to follow up with the minister and his officials to see what options are possible to advance the projects.


Foirgnimh nua do Ghaelscoileanna

March 22, 2012

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An Seó tallainne náisiúnta ‘Scléip’ ag dul ar aghaidh i mBaile Munna

March 21, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Scléip 2012 Final, March 24th

March 21, 2012

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. is delighted to announce that the national talent contest Scléip will take to the stage again this year. Scléip is a competition for Irish-medium and Gaeltacht post-primary school pupils, and it gives students the opportunity to stage music, dance and drama in professional theatres through the medium of Irish. 21 schools took part in the 2012 regional heats held in Dublin, Cork, Derry and Galway in February and March, and students from 15 of those schools will take part in the competition final in the Axis Theatre in Dublin on March 24th. The competition will be divided into six different categories, with a junior and senior prize awarded in each division and the Scléip Award for the best act overall.

Scléip started in 2005 and the competition has gone from strength to strength each year. Although the traditional arts were previously included in the programme, the 2012 competition focuses on contemporary arts. “We want to challenge the students and give them the chance to stage newly-composed music, song, dance and drama in front of an audience and a panel of professional judges” said Clare Spáinneach, Development Officer with GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. and manager of the Scléip competition. “The schools have really taken up the challenge and more than 500 students took part in the regional heats – which was some challenge for the judges!” she said. This year’s judging panel is comprised of professional musicians, dramatists, dancers and broadcasters, and they had high praise for the students who took part in the heats, commenting on the confidence and talent they exhibited on stage. The musician John Spillane was amongst this year’s panel, and he told students that similar school competitions gave him great inspiration as a student. We hope that the participants in Scléip go on to do as well in their chosen arts!

Another musician who took inspiration from this year’s competition is Fiachna Ó Braonáin, guitarist with the Hothouse Flowers and broadcaster for RTÉ. Fiachna is recording a series of radio programmes based on the competition and the contestants’ talent will be broadcast on Raidió na Gaeltachta in April. GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. hope that this will encourage more schools to participate in the competition in future and that more students will have the opportunity to take part in an exciting, inspiring and fun event through the medium of Irish.

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. is the national coordinating body for Irish-medium schools at primary and post-primary level. It provides assistance and support to parents and local communities who wish to found a school and it supports existing Irish-medium schools in their development.

Students from the following schools will take part in the Scléip final in the Axis on March 24th:

  • Coláiste an Eachréidh, Galway
  • Colaiste an Phiarsaigh, Cork
  • Coláiste Chilliain, Dublin
  • Coláiste Chineál Eoghain, Donegal
  • Coláiste Cois Life, Dublin
  • Coláiste de hÍde, Dublin
  • Gael Choláiste Chill Dara, Kildare
  • Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach, Carlow
  • Gaelcholaiste Chiarraí, Kerry
  • Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, Limerick
  • Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G, Cork
  • Gaelcholaiste Reachrann, Dublin
  • Meánscoil Gharman, Wexford
  • Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, Kerry
  • Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Donegal


Scéim GLEO: Your school on screen as Gaeilge!

March 21, 2012

Scéim GLEO: Your school on screen as Gaeilge!

Foras na Gaeilge invites your school to produce a short video clip that will show the school’s best practice in relation to spoken Irish.

Have fun with GLEO as you create an innovative short video in Irish. Schools will receive recognition at three different levels.

Tá gach eolas ar fáil ag… get more info online at… www.gaeilge.ie/gleo

Deadline for entry is Thursday 31 May 2012

Gaelscoileanna talent show Scléip to come to Ballymun

March 20, 2012

Multitalented students from Irish medium Gaelcholáistí across the country will gather on 24th March for the final of Scléip! in The Axis Theatre in Ballymun.

Gaelscoileanna Teo has been running Scléip! since 2006 and the competition, which is confined to creative performances only,  has been growing ever since. The staff at Gaelscoileanna have been travelling the country in search of the most talented and creative all-Irish secondary school students.

Clare Spáinneach, Development Officer with Gaelscoileanna Teo. said that 15 schools will be participating in this year’s final. “we hope to add to that every year. I hope the students take this opportunity to meet other students from all-Irish schools”, she added.

There are four categories: Contemporary music – Solo/Group, Creative Dance – Solo/Group, Drama – Solo/Group, Miscellaneous – Solo/ Group. The miscellaneous section is open to various performances from magic shows to storytelling and all other sections are open to innovative approaches.

A series of radio programs, presented by Fiachna Ó Braonáin, following the progress of Scléip! on tour around the country will air on Raidió na Gaeltachta in April.

Irish careers seminar to visit Navan

March 20, 2012

On Tuesday 27th March Buntáiste Breise na Gaeilge, a careers seminar for senior-cycle students at second level will take place  in the Newgrange Hotel in Navan.

Guest speakers set to appear at the event include Irene Ní Nualláin who is a reporter with TG4/RTÉ, Traic Ó Braonáin from Cumann na bhFiann, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, from RTÉ, Marcus Ó Buachalla from Pembroke Communications and Siobhán Seoighe who works with An Foras Pátrúnachta.

In the past three weeks similar seminars were held in Ballinasloe , Co. Galway and in Inis Co. Clare where over 500 pupils attended.

As part of the seminars, questions from the students are welcomed, which give rise to lively debate about such subjects as the future of the language, Gaeltacht status, Irish as a compulsory subject, Irish at third level, and the Government’s support for the language.
Further information about this seminar is available from Brígíd Ní Ghíofa,  Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge on 01 679 4780 or by sending an e-mail to eolas@gaelport.com

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